Green’s Dictionary of Slang

face v.

[15C SE face, ‘to show a bold face, look big; to brag, boast, swagger’ (OED)]

1. [1920s+] (Irish) of a man, to pay court to a woman.

2. [1950s+] (US campus, also face down) to outperform, to correct, to show up, to humiliate, to insult.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

face and brace (v.) (also face it and brace it)

[16C] to bluster, to defy, to bully verbally.